I remember being on a mission trip in the Caribbean once and being allowed to minister in a youth detention center. My friend, Dave, was on the trip with us and was speaking to the young men. I was watching him as he fluently and poetically communicated his message of hope to these young men. It was truly a beautiful moment to witness.
I remember wishing my presentation to these young men had been more beautifully articulated and worthy of such admiration. In that same moment, the Lord reminded me to celebrate the gifts placed into each one of us on the team. There were some team members with us who were gifted to sing and play instruments. There were some who were gifted to teach. Others were gifted to give words of wisdom and to prophecy.
As I began to celebrate these gifts represented in our group, I remember experiencing a sense of freedom. A freedom to simply be me and to use my gifts as best I can to give God the greatest glory and to rejoice that God had given us team members to do the other parts. I was not required to do every thing, just my thing.
The Lord gives each of us our very own gifts to use to reach others and to glorify God. We each have exactly what we need to accomplish exactly what He has purposed for us. Our individual gifts were never meant to compete with the gifts of others, they were meant to complement the gifts of others.
I Corinthians 12 tells us,
“4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.”.
It then goes on to describe how some have been given different gifts, such as miraculous powers, prophecy, words of knowledge, healing, etc. The passage continues with,
11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines. 12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. …27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
Jesus even prayed for us in John 17, when he prayed,
20 “My prayer is not for them alone [the disciples]. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
It is tempting to be intimidated when stepping into your role in the great commission for which God has called each of us. It is important to remember that you have exactly what you need to step into this calling and to be the part of the body you have been created to be. The body is most effective when it is operating fully together as one. In the same manner, the Body (capital B) is most effective when it is operating fully together as one.
One of the things I love about our monthly local outreach event is seeing the Body of Christ coming together as one in a unified effort to love people in the name of Jesus and to invite others into God’s family. You play an essential part in our ability to reach the whole region. Your part is needed and necessary!
We are not only better when we are together, but we are designed to be together.
You can join us for our next local outreach event and watch as the Lord uses all the parts of His body to bring about His one desire, to see others adopted into His family.
– Chuck Odum, Local Outreach Coordinator
Join us for LLC Reach School 101
Also in September, we are launching our first ever LLC Reach School 101 to train new outreach leaders to lead more teams into more parts of the Chattahoochee Valley. The training will consist of four sessions (about one hour in length) each conducted on the Saturday mornings before outreach. Then you will go out with a team and be coached by the current team leader in the best practices of leading an outreach team. At the end of your training, you will be fully equipped to lead a team of your own into a new area of our region. If this excites you to sign up or find out more information, contact Katherine@take-the-city.com today!
September Local Outreach: September 18th @ 10 AM
LLC – Reach School 101: September 18th @ 8:30 AM. Training will be conducted in the classroom.
I have been serving in some way with Take the city since October 2013. I spent a lot of time on the prayer team in the beginning and encountered God’s heart for the city in a life changing way. When the teams came back and shared testimonies, it was always fun to see that our prayers coincided with some of their testimonies in special ways. More recently I have had the privilege of leading a team to a nursing home where I used to be an employee. I used to pray over the facility every day, and it was such a miracle to see an old friend who lives there give his life to Jesus on one of our outreaches a year later. God sure has a way of answering prayers. And Take the City is an answer to so many prayers that have gone up here.